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Summary

ARM, the leading semiconductor intellectual property (IP) supplier, announced it is expanding its safety licensing support across processor families to strengthen their use in automotive applications. ARM aims to deliver IP with automotive industry–approved safety features, thereby making it easier for ARM’s customers to use its processor IP in cars.

ARM advances car safety

Human safety is a major driver for growth of the connected car. Automobiles have to be equipped with numerous real-time sensors, powerful processors, and feedback and control mechanisms to improve driving safety. While the market is only at the beginning of this transition, numerous new applications such as object recognition, adaptive brake, and park assist are expected to proliferate over the next few years.

ARM is a critical supplier to the automotive ecosystem as it supplies IP to semiconductor vendors such as Freescale, Texas Instruments, Xilinx, and Nvidia and to subsystem vendors including Renesas. Increasing the number of chips per automobile is a well-recognized consequence of the connected car, but to effectively implement the new applications, the system rendering the information must be demonstrably of the highest safety level.

ARM’s safety initiative helps facilitate use of its technology in this evolving market. Supporting automotive safety conformance simplifies the task of its partners. This is ARM’s second automotive-focused safety announcement this year. In January it announced the Cortex-R5 processor with safety features. It has now expanded the features to the Cortex-A processors and will expand to Cortex-M processors later this year.

ARM’s processor technology falls under the general category of computer vision and is hence extendable to other market segments that require safety and high processing power, including medical diagnostics and robotics.

Conforming to automotive functional safety is a good move for ARM. It helps its partners get to market faster with reduced cost. Moreover it supports automobile makers in obtaining safety solutions at reasonable cost with short time to market.

Appendix

Further reading

Connected Consumer Car: Getting There, TE0019-000008 (March 2015)

On the Radar: Freescale, TE0019-000006 (March 2015)

On the Radar: Nvidia, TE0019-000005 (March 2015)

Connecting the cars of the immediate future, TE0019-000001 (January 2015)

Author

Daryl Inniss, Practice Leader, Components

daryl.inniss@ovum.com

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